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The Magic Item Compendium features the deathstrike bracers, a magical item which allows a character to critically hit or sneak attack many enemies that would otherwise be immune:

When activated, deathstrike bracers allow you to use melee weapons to deal extra damage from critical hits and sneak attacks to constructs, elementals, oozes, plants, and undead as if they were not immune to such extra damage.

On first reading, I noted the requirement to use melee weapons and assumed this meant the effect was no use to a character fighting at range. However on rereading I realise that though melee weapons are specified, it doesn't explicitly state the weapon must be used in a melee attack; many melee weapons can be thrown effectively but are still listed as melee weapons in the manuals.

If I have a character with deathstrike bracers, can they activate the item and get the benefit of the effect on ranged attacks with thrown melee weapons, such as daggers or throwing axes?

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Yes

Basically this question comes down to: Is a thrown melee weapon still a melee weapon? The PHB (p.112) says:

Melee and Ranged Weapons: Melee weapons are used for making melee attacks, though some of them can be thrown as well. Ranged weapons are thrown weapons or projectile weapons that are not effective in melee.

So, throwing a melee weapon does not change its type. It is still a melee weapon and qualifies for Deathstrike Bracers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ And this is good news to all Masterthrowers. \$\endgroup\$ – Giorin Oct 12 '18 at 10:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ By the same token, an assassin can make a death attack with a hurled dagger or a hurled spear yet not with an arrow launched from a bow or a bolt launched from a crossbow? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Oct 12 '18 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan seems consistent with this interpretation, sure, given the same wording and all. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Oct 12 '18 at 22:12

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